How to Hide Your Valuables from Burglars
It is an awful thing to think about, but unfortunately robbery and theft are one of the most common opportunistic crimes to fall victim of. All it takes is for a robber to see the gleam of your massive TV through the window, and notice that you leave your door unlocked when you're in the back garden. Or for a visitor to your home to notice a pile of jewelry you've left unattended at the kitchen sink. There can be occasions where you have been a victim of crime and haven't even noticed until a few hours later. Opportunistic theft is just that- the thief takes an opportunity. In saying that, some burglaries are thought out and planned before execution, and you don't even stand a chance! So what can you do? How can you protect your valuables and your home?
First of all, get the basics covered. A good, strong door and a good strong lock is required. A chain on the door is useful to prevent someone from barging through the door when you answer it, particularly if you live alone. Alarm systems are a great deterrent, particularly to "professional" burglars, who know what signs to look out for. Fences surrounding the property make access more awkward, and any attempt at destroying the fence will attract attention. Motion sensor lights also draw attention to the property when someone comes within a certain distance of it. All of these deterrents are a great way of preventing the burglar from targeting your home.
But what about when they are INSIDE your house? Is your home laid out to be as convenient as a supermarket? Are all of your valuables stored in a neat little box, able to be grabbed and thrown into a bag? Are your electrical goodies all in plain sight? Are your savings all in a nice little piggy bank with "take this" written on it?
I know you don't THINK your house is like this, but you may just find that it is. Now, you are allowed to have pretty things on display, but just try to make the thief's life as difficult as possible when they are in your house....
For example, with electrical products- you can't hide your TV. But you CAN make it almost impossible to steal intact. For example, using cable ties to secure the power chord to other, bulkier items could be enough to secure it, or put some one off. Even if it doesn't deter the thief, it can damage the item as they try to remove it. Personally, I think that's even better- it means they wont be making a penny on things I worked hard to pay for!!! Plus, insurance can cover the damage if the item is recovered.
With Cash and jewelry, I think hiding is the best option. There are plenty of products in the market that are made to look like hotdog cans, or decorative candles, or any number of every day objects. There is a jewelry holder that is widely available here that is in the shape of a black dress- it has compartments in it to hold your items- and you hang it in your wardrobe! How many thieves are going to take the time to seek out your wardrobe and flick through it in an attempt to find your valuables? Not many, I can guess. Even with a small budget, there are plenty of household things that are great to stash your passports, cash and jewelry in. A cereal box, for example, can easily be glued back together to look as though it is unopened. Even if you keep it unopened, you can simply use the plastic bag within to further conceal your assets.
CD's, DVD's and records, for example, can be kept in locked cabinets. It all depends on what value you put on your belongings. I like to rip all of my music to my ipod so that I can get to it easily, but the originals are stored safely away- I have quite a valued collection!
Basically, the easiest way to save your valuables from thieves is to make it difficult for them to steal from you. Re-evaluate your home from the mind of a possible theif. Look at every opportunity. Then think of a way to store your belongings so that they are not as easily accessible.
Be creative. Be inventive! And feel free to share any other tips and tricks with us all!